songwriting technique

The 5 Best Things You Can Do To Improve Your Songwriting Skills

I don’t know of a single songwriter who doesn’t want to improve on what they’re doing. But how do you do that? And in the songwriting field, what does improvement actually mean? It doesn’t often take much; sometimes improving just one aspect of your songwriting — the lyrics, let’s say — will take an entire song […]

Songwriter - Guitarist

Fine-Tuning Your Songwriting

I’m a trumpet player, though these days I do more writing and conducting than trumpet playing. Back when I was starting out, I was in final rehearsals for a one-off orchestra I had been hired to play in. I noticed that the principal trumpeter had a small ring of brass — sort of doughnut-shaped –that […]

Writing great song lyrics

Songwriting Happens in Two Stages: First Idea, and Process

If you ask any songwriter which process they use, they’ll probably tell you that it differs from song to song. For most, it really depends on which musical fragment makes its first appearance in their musical mind. If it’s a bit of lyric, they’ll most likely to start by filling out that fragment with more […]

David Bowie - The Next Day

How a Creative Chord Progression Can Make a Song More Meaningful

Of all the various elements that go together to make a song, a chord progression can get away with being less than imaginative. Your melody and lyric both need to be new and interesting, or else you haven’t written an original song. But the chords might be as mundane as a standard I-IV-V-I type of […]

Songwriter - guitarist

An Important Way That Chords-First Songwriting Can Let You Down

There is a lot to be said for the chords-first songwriting process, not the least of which is the fact that when you start vamping on a chord progression, a mood usually becomes quickly obvious. And once you’ve got the mood of the music, a topic will often be easier to settle on. And once […]

Singer in a recording studio

What Word Lists Can Do For Your Lyrics

If you write your own lyrics, I hope you know the value of creating word lists. One benefit is obvious: once you have a general topic, lists of pertinent words will give you the basic vocabulary from which you can pull together a lyric. But there is another benefit that you may not be thinking […]